Collections of Islamic art in Germany – an overview Joachim Gierlichs




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1. Abstracts of papers in chronological order of presentation


Friday, Sept. 17

Opening

Collections of Islamic art in Germany – an overview

Joachim Gierlichs


“Collections of Islamic Art in Germany“ is the title of a book to be published by von Zabern Publishers, Mainz, later this year. It is based on a project carried out by Annette Hagedorn and the author of this paper.

There are much more collections of Islamic art in Germany than even specialists might assume. In addition to the well known Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, founded 100 years ago, thousands of interesting objects are kept in various collections all over Germany, most of them not on display and often neither known by the public nor sufficiently published.

The paper gives a rough overview of this vast material by subdividing the existing collections into eight categories (some collections could be put into more than one category):

  1. Museums totally devoted to the collecting of Islamic art (Only the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin belongs to this category).

  2. Islamic art in the numerous Museums of Applied Arts, mainly founded in the period from 1865 to 1890 (Leipzig 1865, Berlin 1867, Nürnberg 1869, Dresden 1876, Frankfurt 1877, Hamburg 1877, Cologne 1888 and others).

  3. Islamic art collections in Ethnographical Museums, also founded in the second part of the 19th century (e.g. Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Cologne).

  4. Islamic art in Municipal Collections founded by wealthy citizens, as e.g. the Kestner Museum in Hanover or the Municipal Museum of Brunswick.

  5. Islamic art in state, municipal or university libraries (mainly illuminated and illustrated manuscripts, but also some “objects”, e.g. an early astrolabe in the Berlin State Library).

  6. Islamic art in various specialized museums devoted to one material only (e.g. German Leather Museum in Offenbach, or to a limited period/ region or a special topic (Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt).

  7. Islamic art objects in church/ cathedral treasuries (e.g. Halberstadt, Münster).

  8. Islamic art in private collections, later transformed into public museums (e.g. the Bumiller Collection, now kept in the Museum of Early Islamic Art in Bamberg, however, there are not many of this type in Germany).



Saturday, Sept. 18

Session 1

Ottoman Cultural Heritage in Ukraine

İnci Kuyulu-Ersoy

Some of the coastal settlements on the northern and western shores of the Black Sea became focal points of commercial life due to their geographical location after the conquests of the Ottomans. Excluding fortresses such as Azak, Or-Kapı, Ochako (Özü) on the northern shores of the Black Sea, the Ottomans carried out intensive architectural activities due to the strategic importance of the settlements on the coastline between the Danube river delta and the Dnestr River. We can follow the traces of these activities in Hotin, Kam­yanetsky Podolsky, Kilia, Ismail and Akkerman fortresses.

Most of the Ottoman traces in these fortresses have disappeared due to natural or political events. That is why most of the information we have on those monuments comes from historical sources, some present architectural elements and excavations.

In this paper we will provide examples of Ottoman architectural works in Ismail, Akkerman (Belgrod Dnestrovsky), Hotin and Kamaniçe (Kamyanetsky Podolsky) some of which were strategically important points for the Ottomans. Some examples of tombstones from museums in Ukraine will also be presented.


Archaeological investigations of monuments of the Ottoman period in Ukraine (1989-2004)

Svitlana Bilyayeva and Bozkurt Ersoy

The historical development of Ukraine and Turkey was tied to the past of the Ottoman Empire, but for a long time, the special investigation of the culture and art was not considered important.

The 1989 expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine started the excavation in Ochako (Özü) and in the 1997-98 campaign a joint Turkish and Ukranian expedition provided excavations on the territory of the former fortress of Özü, settlement and rampart. A big collection of Ottoman subjects of culture and art was obtained.

In 1999, during the excavation in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy (Akkerman) Bozkurt Ersoy discovered a Turkish bath in the Quarantine court of Akkerman fortress. The bath has been built at the end of the 15th/beginning of the 16th century. In the course of the excavation the main sections of a traditional Turkish bath and several service systems of the bath were discovered.

The Turkish bath in Akkerman is the only one in the North Pontic Area, besides Crimea. The collection of findings of material culture and art contains more than 6000 objects: coins, pipes ceramics, adornments. In 1999 –2001 campaigns monuments of Muslim architecture in the North Pontic area, in the Crimea, Podioliya and Bukovina in Ukraine were also investigated.


Investigations of Akkerman Fortress

Yuriy Boltryk and Svitlana Bilyayeva

Akkerman fortress is the largest monument of Islamic architecture in the northwestern part of the Pontic area, preserved till now in its most complete condition. The fortess is located on the cape which is on the right border of the Dnestr esturary, 18 km from the Black Sea. It is now the center of the modern town of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy (Odessa region, Ukraine).

Since the end of the 15th century up to the end of the 18th century it was a military and trade-outpost of the Ottoman Empire in this region. Ottoman Akkerman follows ancient traditions as a dominant place in the whole Pontic area. Cultural contacts between Europe and Asia were established through nomads and settlement of various peoples followed. The origin of the foundation of the fortress is unknown and some parts of the first fortification can still be found. The fortress consists of four parts. The square of the fortress is 9 hectares and the length of the outer walls is 2 km, with 26 towers.

The archaeological investigation of the fortress began at the beginning of the 20th century, but monuments of the Ottoman period were not under special consideration then. Turkish and Ukranian expeditions were excavating the Ottoman monuments in the fortress. These expeditions concentrated on the Quarantine court, where the Turkish bath was discovered, and where some of the elements of the "barbican gate" were located, too. At present, 15% of the court is under investigation.

Fortifications and weapons, found in the fortress, reflect the military aspect of the fortress. Numerous artefacts that have been found point still to another side: economy, culture, and art. The scientific results of our investigations show the necessity of further complex research into the history and the culture of the Ottoman Empire and medieval Ukraine.


Session 2

A hamam of the Golden Horde (XIV th c.) at the river Synyucha

Ninel Bokiy

Torgovitsya is a complex archaeological monument of the XIVth century that consists of a settlement with distinct features of the urban Golden Horde culture and a burial ground. It represents one of the most complicated periods in the history of the Golden Horde, when as the result of the deterioration of its interior political situation, the Golden Horde was defeated by the Lithuanian Prince Olgerd at Syny Vody in 1362.

Torgovitsya, situated on the river Sinyukha − far away to the north from the other Golden Horde centers between the main Horde domain and the south-Russian principalities, − takes a significant place in the research of the late stage of the Golden Horde on the territory of the right-bank of the Dnyepr.

The architectural object, i.e. the remains of medieval baths, built of brick directly on the bank of the river Sinyukha without a foundation, is of special interest. But in some places, the outlets of a rock or treated limestone plates served as a foundation. Heating structures in the form of parallel rows of narrow brick canals were found, a water-pipe made of ceramic pipes of a varying diameter, and also the Golden Horde coins (puly) that permit to date the complex to the mid-XIVth century.


The Inventory Project of Turkish Monuments in Ukraine: Examples from the Crimea

Bozkurt Ersoy

A society’s heritage, from national monuments, museums, and galleries to a people’s language, history, and religion is an essential source of meaning and fulfillment to people living now. Among these the cultural monuments, archives and historical sites are especially unprotected places. As a cultural heritage these places, especially in multi-cultural environments, are often exposed to ruin.

From this point of view we started to carry out a project entitled The Inventory of Turkish Monuments in Ukraine sponsored by The Turkish Historical Society from 1999 to 2001. By recording in a way of taking measurements and photographs we have gathered more than 100 monuments in Ukraine. By this project it is understood that most of the monuments that were built by Turks are still standing but some of them are not in good conditions. The aim of this paper is to give some general knowledge about these monuments which were built in the Crimea. By calling for their preservation and for the promotion of cultural diversity, we draw attention to these monuments.


Monuments from the period of the Crimean Khanate:
General condition, state of research and problems


Nicole Kancal-Ferrari

The paper is dealing with the few monuments which survived from the period of the Crimean Khanate. The most important monuments are roughly introduced discussing the main problems concerning them.

While the bad condition of many of these monuments requires quick action, most of the buildings are not or not sufficiently researched. To save the endangered monuments it is necessary to take an exact inventory, but also to undertake e.g. professional rescue (salvage) excavations. Both of these measures are not guaranteed.

Monuments discussed in the paper are:

Mengli Geray Han Türbe in Baghchesaray

Zincirli Medrese in Salacık (near Baghchesaray)

The “mausoleum” in Eski Yurt (near Baghchesaray)

Hansaray in Baghchesaray

Dilara Bikeç Türbe in Baghchesaray

The historical substance of the Baghchesaray complex in general

Özbek Han Camii in Eski Kırım (Solkhat).


Session 3

The Muslim Religious Constructions of the Crimea (13th - 19th centuries)

Ibraim A. Abdullaev

Islam began to spread in the Crimean peninsula widely beginning with the 13th century. As architectural monuments of the past, the Muslim religious constructions (mosques, madrasas, tekke, türbe), built during the 13th-18th centuries in the Crimea, are part of the cultural heritage of the Crimean Tatars. These religious constructions served as architectural symbols of faith and by building them eastern rulers and elite were aspiring to immortalize themselves. There were many mosques in the Crimea that represented clearly the medieval epoch − the epoch rich with important historical events of the time of the Seljuks, Mamluks, Ottomans, Golden Horde and Crimean khans. Islam was widely spread in the Crimean cities. At the same time, in the kadylyks, the administrative-territorial and judicial districts of the Crimean peninsula, religious-cultural centres with new mosques, madrasas, tekke, mausoleum, türbe appeared as well.

At the time of the Crimean khanates conquest by the Russian empire, there existed more than 1600 Muslim religious constructions (1540 mosques, 40 madrasas and 28 tekke) in 6 cities and 1474 villages of the peninsula. It is quite possible that the same number of religious constructions was preserved up to 1805, when, without taking into account the uezd of Yalta, there were 1556 Muslim religious constructions in the Crimea. Half a century later, at the beginning of the Eastern (Crimean) War of 1853-1856, the number of mosques decreased to 1492. During 1860-1862, more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars immigrated from the Crimea to the Balkan and Asia Minor possessions of the Ottoman sultans. The immigration took place from the Crimean cities and 784 villages. Among the latter, 330 became fully deserted. Because of the significant decrease in the number of population in the peninsula, only 803 mosques were preserved there to the stand of 1864. In 1890, the guberniya authorities carried out registration and description of the Muslim religious constructions, as a result of which 737 mosques had been found out. The same number of mosques existed until 1914, when, after the end of the World War I and the Civil War, this number decreased to 632. With the beginning of the bolsheviks’ rule and acceptance of the decree about separation of the church from the state, mosques were transferred under the supervision of Muslim communities. In 1930s, with the growth of atheistic propaganda and persecutions of religious officials, Muslim religious constructions were closed mainly on the pretext of their dissatisfactory conditions. The decrepit constructions were dismantled to the working material and those left were transferred to kolkhozes which used them as storehouses, clubs, schools, reading-rooms, etc.

In 1938, the last dozens of functioning mosques were closed in the Crimea. With the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 and till the end of the 1980s, everything that somehow reminded about them in the Crimea, including cemeteries, religious buildings, villages, toponymics, had been destroyed. Nowadays, on the base of approximate calculations, there are only 70 Muslim religious objects left in the Crimea that were constructed in the period between the 13th and 19th centuries.


The Art of Islamic Solkhat: Architecture, Ceramics, Jewellery

Mark G. Kramarovskiy

I have divided my presentation into three parts. The first part is devoted to archaeological observations in one of the most significant architectural objects of the Crimea of the Golden Horde period, the madrasa and the mosque of Solkhat. Both these objects, which composed a uniform architectural complex at a definite stage in the past, were studied by the archaeological expedition of the Hermitage in the period between 1978 and 1983. We have established that the construction of the madrasa was connected to the first constructional stage, while the building of the mosque was connected to the second.

In the process of the investigation of the madrasa, we have excavated the yard with an arcade, fountain and absorbing well, two open eyvans and three winter premises. We have also studied 17 hujras. Besides, we have examined a part of the square of the madrasa, a drainpipe and several additional constructions, including the türbe of Inci-Bey Hatun (d. 1371), who sponsored the building of the madrasa.

In the second part of my presentation I shall report on the results of the architectural analysis of the objects under study and stylistics of their artistic decorations. As shown by measurements and graphical reconstructions, the portal and the mihrab of the mosque can be related to the Asia Minor type and are analogous to those in Central Anatolia. On the basis of plans of the madrasa and the mosque, drawings of the unpreserved portal of the madrasa, handicraft marks on separate carving blocks, and the quality of architectural decor we can assume that an Anatolian construction atelier worked in the capital of the Crimea of the Golden Horde period in the first third of the 14th century. With the dying off of the madrasa as an architectural object, the life in its walls did not cease. Moreover, the ruins of the madrasa aquired symbolic significance for the Islamic community of the city. This can be deduced, taking into account the place of construction of the renewed “mosque of Uzbek” and the appearance at its eastern wall of an elite necropolis during the 16th -17th centuries. As an example of one of the main objects of “memorial” in this period, the türbe of Inci-Bey Hatun can be mentioned.

In the third part of my presentation I shall review questions connected to the production of casting ceramics sgraffito and to some types of the jewellery production of the Crimean school of metal art (silver).


Session 4

Brief overview of the settlement of Eski Yurt (Baghchesaray, Crimea)

Oleksa Haiworonski

The purpose of this presentation is to provide foreign researchers with a general overview of a little known and insufficiently explored monuments of Crimean Tatar history and culture of the 14th-16th centuries: the settlement of Eski Yurt with its two cemeteries Aziz and Qırq Azizler.

Eski Yurt is the name of a settlement located formerly in the western part of the town nowadays called Baghchesaray in Southwestern Crimea (Ukraine). Presently the historical area of Eski Yurt is overlaid with modern housing and industrial buildings, and partly with suburban wastelands.

Eski Yurt was located on an old trade route, which connected the seaports of southwestern Crimea with the plains of the peninsula. Apparently Eski Yurt was the local center of trade and urbanization in the early period of its history. After the independent Crimean Khanate was established (middle of the 15th century) Eski Yurt lost its significance to the new Crimean capital Baghchesaray founded in 1532. Up to the middle of the 20th century Eski Yurt was a separate settlement; after World War Two the settlement was incorporated into the municipal area of Baghchesaray

In 1924-1925 H. Bodaninski and A. Baszkirow, with the participance of I. Borozdin, carried out archae­ological work on the site. The resulting publication was mainly focused on the typological analysis of monu­ments from the Qırq Azizler cemetery. Another attempt to classify the scientific information on Eski Yurt was undertaken in 1941 by the archaeologist N. Riepnikow, but his work was also neither accomplished nor published Riepnikow, 1941, pp.1-6)..

Monuments of Eski Yurt:

The remaining monuments of material culture from Eski Yurt are the following: a) 4 türbes or tombs in Aziz (15th or earlier -16th centuries) - Tomb of Bey Yude Sultan; Tomb of Ahmed Bey; Tomb of Mehmed Bey;. Tomb of Mehmed II Giray; b) 1 minber in Aziz (presumable of the 16th century); c) 24 marble and limestone gravestones moved by the expedition of 1924 from the Qırq Azizler cemetery to the Baghchesaray Khan Palace (14th - beginning of the 15th centuries).

present State

The mausoleums of Aziz are included in the National List of Immovable Cultural Heritage of Ukraine as protected objects. The buildings urgently need restoration due to natural ruining processes and damages

resulting from improper use in the past. The Baghchesaray Historical & Cultural State Preserve, which carries out the restoration of the monuments, has recently compiled the preliminary concept for turning Aziz into a museum. It is planned to create there a museum of the spiritual culture of the Crimean Tatars.


Architecture and art of the Crimean Khanate on the eve of its annexation by Russia

(problems of investigation of national culture)

Valeriy Vozgrin

My presentation is composed of three parts.
1. The Crimean folk and professional architecture of the 18th century was very diverse. The types of houses and the lay out of streets in the three main landscape zones of the Crimean peninsula (steppe, mountains, and a coastal zone) differed very sharply between each other. Yet the type of building was influenced not only by the landscape. Additional diversity came from the traditional tastes of the anthropologically multi-com­positional population, descendants of 33 tribes and peoples who had settled earlier in the Crimea and who for the most part had preserved the architectural preferences of their far forefathers. In the cities, mixtures of styles were even clearer than in the villages of the three zones mentioned above. At the same time, there existed important common ground in the architecture of a city and a village of that time on the basis of which we can speak today about a unique Crimean Tatar architecture as a uniform phenomenon.

2. Characteristics of Crimean art, literature and science. After the annexation of the Crimea in 1783, the Russian colonial authorities did everything in order to destroy the culture of the Crimean Tatars and even its traces. In 1830 almost all books of diverse content were burned – one of the reasons why today our knowledge about the Crimean culture is quite fragmentary. Nevertheless, this problem can be solved: foreign literature (mainly eastern) has information about Crimean artists, musicians, scholars as well as about famous writers and poets, known in the past to the entire Muslim world. Important discoveries have been made in Russia and the Crimea in the sphere of traditional calligraphy, ornamental embroidery, textual and musical folklore.

3. Conclusions about the perspectives of the study of the history of the Crimean Tatars’ national culture. Main objectives of such studies: Scholarly elaboration of the subject; perspective of the cultural revival of the ethnos.

The second objective is a more problematic but still feasible one, considering the higher ethnic mobi­li­sation of the indigenous people of the Crimea nowadays. Even the explanation of this phenomenon presents a complicated scientific problem. As a working hypothesis, a theory of O. Spengler has been accepted by us. After the liquidation of the khanate, the culture of the Crimea was violently stopped in its deve­lopment. In other words, one cannot even speak about its decline (“der Untergang” according to Spengler): the cultural genesis («культурогенез») in the Crimea was not at all completed and nowadays the lively development of culture has started anew. The Crimean Tatars differ from the Slavic majority of the population in the Crimea in their active strive for the revival of their forefather’s heritage: from architecture to the traditionally tolerant confession of Islam. Today, only 15 years after the return of the Crimean Tatars to their historical motherland, the first successes in this selfless cultural construction are quite evident.


Sunday, Sept. 19

Session 5

Monuments of the Christian-Muslim “bi-belief” in the Crimea

V. Sidorenko

The modern Crimean Tatars are presented by different groups of the Crimean peninsula population that have various ethnic roots. The unification of these groups took place due to the historical events of 1774-1783 that preceded the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. If the Crimean khanate until 1778 was characterised by the relative unity of the origin of the Crimean Tatars, the infuse into it of the Tats, the former subjects of the Turkish sultan, inhabiting southern-western and southern coastal parts of the peninsula, created ethnic heterogeneity of the new formation.

P. Pallas cites the translation of a firman of the last Crimean khan Shahin Giray containing a list of villages which he had given out for rents that belonged previously to the Turkish sultan and that had been transferred to the possession of the khan in accordance with the conditions of the treaty of Küchük Kaynarca. Since these villages were inhabitated by Tats, it is possible to carry out demographical calculations of their numbers, i.e. of those, who remained in their previous habitation. Considering the absence in the list of the villages from which the Christian population, resettled to the Azov guberniya, originated, the firman of Shahin Giray might have been composed in 1778. According to the firman, at the time of unification with the Crimean Tatar the Tats lived in 109 villages. On the basis of statistics used in the „Cameral Description of the Crimea“, according to which there were about 10 families with an average number of 3 males to every family (1783), the number of Tats should have been about 3270 males. The register mentions Christian 3126 males. This number almost coincides with the number of 3270 Tat males calculated by us, who became subjects of the khan. We may conclude that the mentioned Tatar-Christians were in fact the Turkic-speaking Tats whose religion had been a mixed Christian-Islamic faith (“bi-belief”). Thanks to this religion they were not included into the list of the Christians resettled from the Crimea, however, they were also not recognised by the Muslims who treated them as Christians.

Ethnically a part of the Tats belonged to the Oghuz who migrated to Asia Minor from the Aral region (11th century). The Ottoman state was one outcome of the Oghuz migrations. At the time of the Ottoman conquests, the Oghuz were considered indigenous people of Asia Minor, but during Ottoman rule they no longer played the role that had been allocated to them in the state of the Seljukids of Rum. At the time of the Seljukid sultans a stratification of society took place. In this period the term „Turk“, to whom the Oghuz related, was used to designate the exploited lower level of society. Official acceptance of Islam by the Oghuz served very often as a superficial cover. Even the court elite preserved their ancestral names together with the new Muslim ones. Some of the non-privileged tribes of the Oghuz professed Christianity and later, after accepting Islam as a state religion, continued as a matter of fact to be Christians.

The Franciscan monk Guilleaume Rubruk who visited the Crimean town of Sudak in 1252, noted the presence of Turks there, assumingly Oghuz. Document postscripts to the Greek sinaksar from Sudak mentioned many Christians with Turkic names (including priests) but, probably, they were not Tatars. The Arab traveler Ibn Batutta mentions that in 1334 Sudak was populated by Turks and some Byzantines.

We may note that a part of the Christian population, resettled to the Azov guberniya in 1778, was not referred to as “Tats”. Instead, they called themselves “Rumeis” (Byzantines) and spoke a Greek dialect known as ayla, very close to Anatolian Turkish. The Rumeis were mainly town dwellers. They were partly Christian Greeks from Asia Minor. However, for the most part they constituted the local population, previously Byzantine, of the southern-western and the near costal parts of the Crimean peninsula. A part of the Rumeis, inhabiting possessions of the Turkish sultan, as well as those living in the cities of the Crimean khanate, embraced Islam and avoided the deportation of 1778.


Crimean Tatar Fine Arts in the End of the 19th – Beginning of the 20th Century
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